Skipper's blog

Can Captain Cook and England conquer the Caribbean?

How will England, under the guidance of captain Alastair Cook, fare in the upcoming Test series against the West Indies?

English cricket is in turmoil. After a humiliating World Cup the players have been left reeling by the ongoing KP carnival and the sacking of the ECB managing director Paul Downton. Surely they will struggle to outplay a tight knit, powerful West Indies team?

However England aren't facing a tight knit, powerful West Indies team. They are facing the eighth best Test team in the world, bottom of the major Test playing nations, a team who couldn't even complete their tour of India last year, a team with many of its best players in the IPL instead.

England cricket fans and media are crying out for change, but will they see it?

Mark Wood, Adil Rashid and Adam Lyth are new players to the squad and could make their debuts in Antigua. With Moeen Ali's injury, Stuart Broad turning his ankle and Gary Ballance desperately out of form, the opportunities are there. However, Wood and Lyth are yet to bowl and bat respectively so a return for Liam Plunkett and Jonathan Trott seems more likely.

Only Rashid in a straight battle with James Tredwell for the spinners spot seems likely to make a debut on Monday. If Broad is fit, I see the side as being as follows:

Cook, Trott, Ballance, Bell, Root, Stokes, Buttler, Rashid, Plunkett, Broad, Anderson.

So, more same old, same old than a bright new dawn.

Who would make your England XI for the opening Test against the West Indies?



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